Sueetie Site in the Spotlight: Sweet Season Quilts

Sweet Season Quilts is our “Sueetie Site in the Spotlight.” The site was recently updated from Version 1.0.3 (way old) to Sueetie Version 2.0. Looking over the fresh changes is a good way to see how Sueetie shines on a site other than Sueetie.com.

Supporting small businesses like Sweet Season Quilts is exactly why I created Sueetie.  I wanted people with talent and vision, but not a lot of money, to have access to a great online community product so they could focus on their business and not their website. Sweet Season Quilts sells quilting patterns designed by its incredibly talented owner, Sue Pritt. What Sue needs in her website is a series of content pages to describe her quilt patterns, a blog and a photo gallery.  She doesn’t need a wiki or forum, so we simply disable those features.

Here’s a screenshot of the site home page. The astute observer will notice a certain symmetry between the Sweet Season Quilt theme and the new Sueetie “York” theme. Yes, that’s because I patterned the theme on the site’s original v1.0.3 theme.

The home page is essentially a single Sueetie Content Part that can be editing with one click of “the pencil” for Sue or anyone to whom she gives ContentAdministrator permissions.

As I mentioned above, Sue needed a series of content pages to describe her patterns. With Sueetie v2.0’s CMS feature we created three CMS Groups, one for her patterns, one for her how-to guides, and a third for miscellaneous site documents like her Policies page.  That structure is reflected in the global Site Menu.

The site in its Sueetie Version 1.0.3 state was using BlogEngine.NET 1.45, so the blog was getting hit with a lot of comment spam.  With BlogEngine.NET 1.6’s rocking spam filtering, comment spam is just a memory.

The Photo Gallery received a Gallery Server Pro version upgrade as well, but one of the Sueetie Version 2.0 Gallery enhancements has proven very valuable to Sue’s quilting business. Sueetie v2.0 added the ability to view the original image in a separate browser tab.  This wasn’t possible before, but now customers can see quilts and other images in much greater detail.

What’s very cool about the new and improved Sweet Season Quilts site is global searching and tagging. All content pages, blog posts and photo albums were assigned tags as part of the upgrade so a single click on, say, “travels” will display blog posts and photo albums of workshops Sue conducts in the New England area and beyond.

Let’s see, what else might you be interested in? Well, if you go to Sweet Season Quilts you’ll see PayPal buttons throughout the patterns pages along with a Shopping Cart icon in the sidebar.  This gives you an idea how easy it is to add ecommerce capabilities to a Sueetie site.

Like I said, Sweet Season Quilts didn’t need a forum or wiki, so I can’t show you those.  I can’t show you the new v2.0 Calendar Feature in action either, but I think Sue definitely needs it so her fans can track when she’s doing a quilting workshop in their area.  I’ll let you know how that goes. In the meantime, please check out the newest Sueetie v2.0 site at http://sweetseasonquilts.com. And hey, with Christmas coming up, if your wife (or husband) is into quilting, buy some of Sue’s beautiful patterns.  My personal favorite is The Hen Party.

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.